There’s Something Happening Here

I have this earworm (music, lyric looping in your brain) playing in my head since the middle of November.  Buffalo Springfield’s song “For What It’s Worth” circa 1967. (click the link below to hear the song.)

For What It’s Worth

Usually an earworm is a voice from my inner spirit.  What do you want me to know earworm?  What’s your point?  Why are you repeating in my mind?

 “There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down”

I will admit I tried to ignored the US election.   Not my country,  I can’t vote and quite frankly, I tired of the pessimistic, nasty tone.   A total ostrich move on my part, but come November the earworm to that song was stuck.

The first chorus opened a vivid memory.

 “Stop children what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.

I was ten, 1967.  It seemed to be turbulent times thru the eyes of this child.  Newspaper stories of civil unrest, TV reporters ducking behind berms as the jungle reverberated with rapid gun fire, all a world away from my safe home. The constant images of the chaos, the disrespect, the inhuman human bashing, kicking and beating protesters of all colors as they were arrested for upsetting the establishment.   Such violent and vicious confrontations – a disconcerting, confusing contrast to the peaceful life I led in a tranquil rural community.

It was dark, probably winter, early morning, me, sitting in the back of the big school bus bouncing down a rutted gravel road when I first heard the strum, the beat, the lyric.   These words seared into my brain and yes, apparently my soul.

 “Stop children what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.

There’s battle lines being drawn


Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

It was a wakeup call for me – pay attention, things may not be as they appear.  Ask questions about why people are so upset and mean?  I thank God for good parents and good teachers who helped me learn HOW TO THINK about what I saw, read, heard on the news not WHAT TO THINK.   They helped by questioning where I got facts to support my views and asked what were the basis for my assumptions.  They listened (sometimes) patiently as I railed against this or that, called me out when facts or opinions were fuzzy, all in an effort to help me make sense of the world I saw thru the media, a world so different from my  experience .

Travel to 2017, some 50 years later….

It was the Sunday (two days after an inauguration of a President)   I was casually sipping coffee, two screening between my laptop and the TV.  Scrolling thru Facebook, half watching an American news show when I understood the repetitive message of that song.

“Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

You step out of line, the man come and take you away”

I started to notice an unusual amount of outrageous FB posts were showing up on my news feed. The posts vastly outnumbered the cat pictures, the cute kids, and the funny memes. They had been replaced with articles of a more polarizing, misleading, outright fabrication from both the right, the left and some well off in “what the bleep” field. They ran from the totally absurd to a complete factual manipulation complete with opinion pieces penned by “anonymous authorities.”   How can you be anonymous and be an authority?

But the kicker, my heart’s call to action, the reason my earworm was morphing into a shouting fire-breathing dragon happened on the appearance of the fake Blonde Bomb – the appointed truth speaker, the power-hungry “con” shouting her way, the former campaign manager for “Lying Ted Cruz”.   She, Blonde Bomb, was now the appointed, the official, White House Liar for The Chief.

Blonde Bomb had the audacity to show up in my living room on a relaxed Sunday morning, with an agenda to overtake the media with her spin on the real truth.  She proceeded to spin, to tell her nation, my nation, the world, total lies!  The shrill sounds of  blatant media manipulation woke up that ten-year-old’s memory and she started screaming “LIAR, LIAR PANTS- ON- FIRE!

 “Stop children what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.

There’s battle lines being drawn


Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Adulting my inner child I asked the question “Where can I as a citizen of the world use my energy to stop the obvious start of a regime of tyranny?”  I turned to my attention to FB. How do I stop the spread of these hurtful twists of truth?  By making a commitment to stop sharing, liking or posting anything without a fact check. The sharing of misinformation stops here, with me.  We, as a free, open society, must take responsibility and stop casually spreading falsehoods and half-truths because it fits with our political viewpoint.  How will anyone, any political party, any government ever solve problems if we are not hearing the facts?

Have I been guilty of this same thoughtless sharing, liking, behavior thru social media?    Yes, I’ve been duped.  But now  I refuse to become clickbait for a “like” here or a “share” there without questioning, where, what, why, who or how – is this factual or manipulated?  I want to call out the manipulators like a ten-year-old child, chanting, “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”

My hope for the sake of democracy, in fact our humanity  is that we share the deep sense of responsibility to disseminate truthful, factual information.  W ,now more than ever, have the power to speak up in so many forms. We can take the time for forethought in discerning the truth from fiction.  I am acutely aware of that ten-year-old child who is  calling out clearly,  LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE (of course in the most grown up respectful way.)  Wink, wink!

 “There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down….” 

 

Below a link to youtube, 1967, song by Buffalo Springfield .

 

For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield

Please check out the following links to some sites for fact checking your  Facebook posts. 

www.snopes.com

www.politifact.com

www.factcheck.org

www.fullfact.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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